Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for November, 2009


Add Cables for Texture

November 17th, 2009

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On our journey through Scarf Land, we bring you to the classic cabled scarf…get the pattern below. 6 more days of scarf patterns left!

Over the last two weeks, we’ve shared with you some of the scarves we’ve been making for our Hat & Scarf Charity Drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Whether you’re making them as gifts or for charity, come back from now until Thanksgiving for inspiration & patterns for easy scarves from the Studio’s staff.

Gillian’s Cable Scarf (in Vanna’s Choice Taupe)

Cable stitch definition: CR4: slip two stitches to cable needle and hold in back, K2 , K2 from cable needle

CO 30.
Rows 1 – 8: Knit.
Row 9: K5, P4, K4, P4, K4, P4, K5.
Row 10: K9, P4, K4, P4, K9.
Row 11 & 13: Repeat row 9.
Row 12 & 14: Repeat row 10.
Row 15: K5, P4, CR4, P4, CR4, P4, K5.
Row 16: K9, P4, K4, P4, P9.
Repeat rows 9 – 16.
End with 8 rows of Garter stitch (knit every row).
Bind off and weave in ends.

*As with all of our scarf patterns shown, we only used one ball for our scarves, but you can use two and make them as long or short as you wish. Vanna’s Choice’s recommended hook size is J-10; its recommended needle size is US9.


Swatching: It’s Not Just for Gauge Anymore

November 16th, 2009

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It doesn’t take long for a new knitter or crocheter to learn about the importance of making a gauge swatch: one badly off-size project usually convinces even the most gung-ho non-swatcher. Learning to make and measure a gauge swatch properly is one of the most important steps on the road to a great finished project. I’ve noticed that most of the knitters and crocheters I know (including myself, I’m sorry to say) tend to skimp on the swatching, doing only enough to make sure they’re getting approximate gauge and then plunging headlong into the project at hand.

By doing this, we’re only short-changing ourselves. Not only can getting the proper gauge solve a number of problems, a gauge swatch can tell you much more than just whether you’re getting the requisite number of stitches and rows per inch. Your gauge swatch is the most important place to start learning what your final project will look and feel like. This is particularly important if you’ve chosen to use a different yarn or even color than the one called for in the pattern.

You might find, for instance, that even though you are getting the correct number of stitches and rows per inch, the fabric you are creating is too stiff or too drapey for the project you’re making. Or you might find that the stitch pattern you love just doesn’t show up when worked in the navy yarn you’ve chosen to work with. Better to find out now than after you’ve crocheted half an afghan! Next time you find yourself tempted to skimp or skip the swatch, remind yourself that even though it might seem like a drag now, you’ll be much happier in the end if you do a full, proper swatch.

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A Scarf a Day: Gina’s Crochet Basketweave Scarf

November 16th, 2009

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Over the last two weeks, we’ve shared with you some of the scarves we’ve been making for our Hat & Scarf Charity Drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Today, we’re kicking off 8 days of scarves. Whether you’re making them as gifts or for charity, come back from now until Thanksgiving for inspiration & patterns for easy scarves from the Studio’s staff.

Gina’s Crochet Basketweave (shown in Vanna’s Choice Linen)

Ch 21
Row 1: dc 19, turn
Row 2: ch 2 *dc through front post, dc through back post, repeat from * to end of row, turn
Row 3: ch 2 *dc through back post, dc through front post, repeat from * to end of row
Repeat rows 2 – 3 to end.
Bind off and weave in ends.

*As with all of our scarf patterns shown, we only used one ball for our scarves, but you can use two and make them as long or short as you wish. Vanna’s Choice’s recommended hook size is J-10; its recommended needle size is US9.


A Different Way Of Thinking About Gift Giving

November 12th, 2009

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If you are reading this blog, you probably knit or crochet.  Do you remember when you learned? Do you remember who taught you?  It’s often a memory so indelible that you can picture details about that day from the way the room looked to what you were wearing.  Many of us learned as children, in awe of this person who could teach us to create something from a simple ball of yarn.  We may have put down our craft as we became busy with children or work and picked it up again as we awaited the birth of a child, found a new way to relieve stress or discovered a yarn that could not be resisted.

This lovely story tells of a woman whose most cherished gift was given to her by an aunt when she was seven years old.  She remembers the day, the snack of tea and cookies that came with the gift and the color of the yarn.

This holiday season, consider giving this precious, lifelong gift to a child.  It’s a gift of your knowledge and your presence together with a few inexpensive supplies. It’s a gift that connects you to the person you teach in a way that very few gifts can. It’s a gift for the holidays that reminds us of what is really important.

We invite you to share your stories of the person who taught you to knit by commenting on this blog post.


Studio Window Scarves Pt. 2: Patty & Tracey Share Their Scarves

November 11th, 2009

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At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we’ve been making scarves for the Partnership for the Homeless, an organization here in NYC, as well as collecting scarf & hat donations from local yarncrafters. We’re having so much fun knitting and crocheting for charity in our window, we thought we’d share some of our patterns. Each one of us gets to make whatever we want. Sometimes we use the StitchFinder, and sometimes we make it up. In the next few weeks we’ll share some of the staff’s scarves.

As we said in our first post, each one of our window scarves is one ball of Vanna’s Choice, but you can make a longer scarf by using two balls. The recommended needle size for this yarn is US9 and the hook size is J-10, but as always, adjust up or down depending on the feel if your own fabric and your tension. With all of the scarves, you would bind off when you have yarn about 4 times the width of the scarf left. Then just weave in the ends, and you have a great scarf!

Patty’s Seed Stitch Scarf (shown in Magenta)

CO 24 stitches.
Row 1: *K1, P1*, repeat from *.
Row 2: *P1, K1*, repeat from *.
Repeat row 1 & 2 (purling the knits and knitting the purls).

Patty’s Garter Rib Scarf (shown in Wood’s Print)

CO 24 stitches.
Row 1: K2 *P2, K2*, repeat from *.
Repeat row 1.

Tracey’s Back Loop Crochet (show in Fern)

Ch 20.
Row 1 & 2: Dc across row.
Row 3: Dc through back loop.
Repeat rows 1 – 3.

Tracey’s Drop Stitch Scarf (show in Seaspray Mist)

CO 24 stitches.
Row 1 – 3: Knit.
Row 4: *K1, YO* repeat from * until last stitch, end K1.
Row 5: *K1, drop YO*, repeat from * until last stitch, end K1.
Repeat rows 1 – 5.

Come back starting next Monday for a new scarf pattern from the windows every day!

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Holiday Homespun Celebrates Its First Holiday Season

November 11th, 2009

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We introduced Holiday Homespun earlier this year and it has become a fast favorite for holiday-themed garments and decorations.  It comes in two types of color ranges.  You can select from the traditional bright colors called Holly, Evergreen and Festive, or the deeper, richer colors of Victorian shades which are Berry, Wreath and Mistletoe. Our Starlight white color matches both palettes.

We have 21 patterns for this yarn. Choose from a selection of wearables, decorative items or home decor.


Enter the Vanna’s Choice Contest for a Chance to Win $1,000 and Meet Vanna White!

November 10th, 2009

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Last year Lion Brand sponsored the Vanna’s Choice Contest at Michaels and it was such a success we are repeating it this year.  To enter, knit, crochet or craft using any of Vanna’s yarns including Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby, or Vanna’s Glamour.

There are 33 prizes total and you can enter in four categories: Afghans & Throws, Baby & Kids, Hats & Scarves, and Gifts & Crafts.  The grand prize is $1,000 and a trip to California to meet with Vanna.  For complete contest rules, see this link.

We look forward to seeing your entry!


You Are Not Alone!

November 9th, 2009

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Laura is a pattern support specialist here at Lion Brand. This is her first blog post.

I am fortunate to live in an area that has a very welcoming group of knitters and crocheters. Every Wednesday night, we get together for a few hours, just to hang out and chat while we work on our various projects. Every week at least one interesting dilemma comes up for the group to solve – everything from choosing yarn for a new project to deciding whether to rip a WIP — predicaments that are not unique to my circle of friends. I’m going to be sharing the problems and, more importantly, the solutions from my group here every week.

This week, our newest knitter mentioned that she had missed the last couple of get-togethers, and because of that, hadn’t worked on her project at all. She said every time she picked it up and worked on it at home, she was afraid she was making mistakes because there was no one there to reassure her.

I know it’s scary when you’re first starting out, especially when you’re working on your very first project and are unsure about the skills you’re learning. It’s important to remember, though, that you’re not alone out there! If you’re in New York, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (check the website for free groups, as well as the knitting & crochet doctors, who offer free help each week). Not in NYC? You can use our website to find a local group of your own — just mouse over the Community tab at the top, then select “Knit & Crochet Clubs” from the dropdown and search for a club in your area.

Even if you don’t have a group to meet up with in person (or if you just don’t feel like going out), there are lots of way you can get guidance and reassurance from a more experienced crafter. Lion Brand’s pattern support line is open Monday-Friday from 9-5 ET if you want to speak with a real live person. Call us at 800-705-8636 or e-mail us at support@lionbrand.com. We also have videos of many basic -– and not so basic — techniques available on the Lion Brand YouTube Channel if you want to check visually to see if what you’re doing is correct.

Finally, don’t forget about using this blog as a resource –- you can even search (using the search box in the top left corner, or using the “Categories”) to see if we’ve already blogged about the issue you need help with!

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Enter to Win a $100 Gift Certificate to LionBrand.com!

November 5th, 2009

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We’ve got a great contest running on Facebook right now. Visit our Facebook page and click on the “Win $100 to LionBrand.com!” tab. All you have to do is select your favorite LB yarn and post it to your Facebook feeds, and you will automatically be entered for your chance to win $100 to shop at LionBrand.com. It’s that simple! While you’re there, be sure to become our fan to keep up with our most recent offers and updates.


Studio Window Scarves: Will & Michelle Share Their Scarves

November 4th, 2009

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At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we’ve been making scarves for the Partnership for the Homeless, an organization here in NYC, as well as collecting scarf & hat donations from local yarncrafters. We’re having so much fun knitting and crocheting for charity in our window, we thought we’d share some of our patterns.  Each one of us gets to make whatever we want.  Sometimes we use the StitchFinder, and sometimes we make it up. In the next few weeks we’ll share some of the staff’s scarves.

Each one of our window scarves is one ball of Vanna’s Choice, but you can make a longer scarf by using two balls. The recommended needle size for this yarn is US9 and the hook size is J-10, but as always, adjust up or down depending on the feel if your own fabric and your tension. With all of the scarves, you would bind off when you have yarn about 4 times the width of the scarf left. Then just weave in the ends, and you have a great scarf!

Will’s Garter Stitch (shown in Antique Rose):

CO 24 stitches
Knit every row

Will’s Crochet Scarf (show in dusty blue)

Ch 21
Row 1 – 3: Sc across row.
Row 4: Dc across row.
repeat all 4 rows

Michelle’s Basketweave Scarf (shown in Taupe Mist)

CO 24.
Row 1: *K4, P4* repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2 – 6: Knit the knits and purl the purls.
Row 7: *P4, K4* repeat from * to end of row.
Row 8 – 12: Knit the knits, and purl the purls.
Repeat rows 1-12.

Michelle’s V-Stitch Scarf (shown in Dusty Rose)

Ch 21.
Row 1: Dc into 6th ch from hook, ch1, dc into same ch *sk 2 ch, (dc, ch1, dc) into the same ch.  Rep from * 4 times.  dc into last ch.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn.  (dc, ch 1, dc) into each ch 1 space (5 times total).  dc into the top of the turning ch of the row below.
Repeat Row 2 to desired length.

Are you in the NYC area? To find out more about how you can help us by donating knit & crochet hats and scarves, please click here.

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